Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Boning Up" for Immigration

Alison Cowan has written interesting article about "crib sheets" for immigrants. They were meant to help the aspiring immigrant to get through the questioning by immigration officers and preclude their being sent back home. This particular practice seemed to be most prevalent on the West Coast because of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

You can read Alison's article at:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What are those "pesky" second cousins, anyway?

We all seem to have a problem remembering what second and third cousins are, and what "twice removed" means. Dick Eastman in his Online Genealogy Newletter has put some very clear explanations all in one spot for us. In addition to the above, he also explains kith, kin, half, step and more.

You can see Dick's article at: [if you cannot click on the link, cut and paste it into your browser.]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family History Writing Competition - DEADLINE

The deadline for submissions to The Pinellas Genealogist Family History Writing Competition is upon us! All entries must be received by July 31. I am sure that there are dozens of writers who simply haven't finished polishing their final drafts before sending them in.

Hurry, hurry, hurry! Don't get caught short. For any questions about formatting your entry, visit the Writing Competition page on the PGS web site. Remember, CASH (Yes, CASH!) prizes will be awarded for the top three entries.

Our judges are waiting by their computers for your entry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Surname Origins Can Be Revealing

Russell Bangerter writing for the Morman Times has an interesting article on the origins of surnames and what they can reveal genealogically.

You can find the article at:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pennsylvania Ships Passenger Lists - The pre 1820 Baggage Lists

This comes form the "Olive Tree Genealogy Blog:

Pennsylvania Ships Passenger Lists begin in 1800 instead of after the Federal Legislation requiring ships Passenger lists to be kept after 1819. The arrival port of Philadelphia kept lists of names of arriving passengers whos personal luggage was over the limit set for exemption from taxes. This gives genealogists a nice set of ships passenger lists from 1800-1820 when full ships passenger lists began.

These lists can be found online. They include images of the actual manifest and a transcription of the names of the passengers on board. Philadelphia Baggage Lists contain the names of passengers who had to pay taxes on excess baggage. It does not contain the names of passengers who were exempt because their luggage was not over the limit. This is an ongoing project and currently only Baggage Lists from 1809 are online. All names have been indexed,

I have found this site to sometimes be difficult to navigate, but check it out at:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Video of Ellis Island -- 1906

If you want to see a scene of what it was like at Ellis Island in 1906 you can now do so on line. A video was actually made by one of the few movie cameras available then.

The video depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. The video appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the dock and into the Depot by a uniformed official.

You can view the video at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Find Genealogy Books For Sale on

Biblio is a book search engine which indexes more than 50 million books from over 5,500 independent bookstores. You can use a search capability to find everything from rare first editions to books which are less rare but still definitely out of print.

To search for any out-of-print books, including genealogy books, go to